Friday, March 23, 2012

Hippity Hoppity Easter's on the way ......

So .... the MBIAJ Decorating Committee gave the leprechans the boot when they realized Easter is only 2 weeks away !

....and the MBIAJ Stitching Dept decided to turn a doodle into ....

....a little applique - stitchery thing ..... not sure what it will be when the stitching is finished .... maybe a little wall hanging .... maybe in an embroidery hoop since that seems to be all the rage these days ..... or maybe, if the MBIAJ Sewing Dept gets motivated, this might go on the front of a little Easter tote bag . AND, if the MBIAJ Tech Support Dept can figure it out, this will show up as a pdf file if any of you would like to make it too! (so, PLEASE tell me how to do a pdf file !!!! .....thanks !)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Charm Pack "Sit Upon" Tutorial - Happy 100th Birthday Girl Scouts!

WOW ! The Girl Scouts are 100 years old today ! In honor of this milestone birthday, the MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept thought a "Sit Upon" tutorial was in order. (As you can see, the bear was the only willing subject to model our "Sit Upon") What IS a "Sit Upon" you ask ? Well, it's water proof .... it's padded .... and it has ties for around your waist so you can sit at a moments notice and not get a wet butt when you are out on a hike with fellow Girl Scouts !

So, here's what you need to make one the MBIAJ way .....

-16 Charm squares (or single piece of fabric 20" x 20" )

-20 1/2" x 20 1/2" piece of laminated fabric, oilcloth, (or any water proof fabric)

-two pieces of 20" x 20" quilt batting (to make it xtra soft for sitting upon!)

-one piece of fabric (for tie) 4" x 44" (or whatever length is needed to tie around
waist - sorry, I forgot to put this in the picture - I used 100% cotton fabric)

-Pearl cotton #5 embroidery floss

-large eye needle

First sew the 16 charm squares together 4 squares across x 4 squares down (using 1/4"seams) . Next layer the pieced top with the 2 batting pieces,making sure the batting pieces are even with the edges of the pieced top (just trim any excess batting)

Make your "quilt sandwich" by positioning the oilcloth (i.e. laminiated fabric) face down, then the 2 batting layers, and then the pieced top (the oilcloth will extend beyond the pieced top and batting by 1/2").

Trim the oilcloth even with the pieced top and batting on ONE SIDE ONLY (leave other 3 sides alone)

To make a mock binding, wrap the oilcloth edges around to front of the sit upon on 3 sides enclosing the pieced top and batting (use hair clips NOT pins to secure the binding)

At corners fold one side down ....

.....then other on top and ....

...trim away any edge that peeks out at the corner.

Using a long length of the pearl cotton embroidery floss (knotted at the end, hiding knot between layers of Sit Upon) stitch around the 3 bound sides, using an overlay stitch (stitches should be approximately 1/2" apart)

To make the tie :

cut one piece of fabric 4" x width of fabric (approx. 44") - or whatever length you need to tie around your waist.

press under (to wrong sides) 1/2" on each end

press in half length wise to find center, then unfold

fold each long edge in to center fold line ....

and press

fold again to center and press to make long binding / tie strip

matching center of binding /tie to center of Sit Upon, open folded binding/tie and wrap around unfinished edge of Sit Upon

(tie will extend beyond each side of Sit Upon for tying around waist)

stitch the binding/tie to Sit Upon starting at one short end of long binding/tie , along lower long edge , across Sit Upon and continue on to other short end of binding /tie.

Now all you have to do is tie your Sit Upon around your waist and you're ready to sit upon your Sit Upon !!!

Happy sitting ! and Happy 100th Birthday to the Girl Scouts !

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Fresh Modern" (26 year old) Quilt Blocks

Well lookie what has been dug up way back in the closet under the eaves of the MBIAJ Pink Sewing room ! I have been searching for these quilt blocks for the past year or so (ever since the "Fresh Modern" quilting trend started ) I guess I was way ahead of my time because these blocks are 26 years old !!!! YIKES ! and yes, I made these blocks back in 1986 during my second ever quilt class (back before rotary cutters and fancy rulers, and before fusible web for applique ..... yep , scissors and template plastic was how it was done !) .... BUT, I put these quilt blocks away because at the time I was made to feel that they just were too dull 1986 the trend was for prints and calicos ..... and LOTS of them .....

This is a picture of my poor boring quilt blocks (taken during that class) shown between the instructor's finished quilt on the left and another student's quilt blocks on the right (both using lots of prints and calicos).

...this is another picture of more of my poor boring solid fabric pieced blocks with alternate solid blocks ....... and I clearly remember the instructor asking me " are you sure you don't want to add more colors ? are you sure you want to use all solids ?" .........ummmmmmm I thought I did ......

SO .... I thought now that solids are in style .....

....and clean crisp white as background in blocks is all the rage .....

......I thought it was high time these poor shunned quilt blocks.....

...should come out of hiding and .....

...take their long deserved place among the new "FRESH MODERN" quilts !!!
You know .... after 26 years, I still really like these blocks .... they're simple and fresh ...... maybe I'll actually finish the applique on that Rose of Sharon block and finally put this quilt together !!!

P.S. linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Early Spring ?

Well, still a couple of weeks until Spring officially arrives on the calendar, but here at MBIAJ Headquarters we have some ......

......fake Spring and ....

.....some real Spring ! (so the MBIAJ Holiday Decorating Committee thought it high time the last of the Christmas decor be shoved back in the attic, and some fresh , springy stuff be dragged out.)

Hope you're enjoying some early Spring too !

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)